Terrifying! We did a new play
So that was terrifying. We just staged a brand new play, Daughter of Job, by local playwright Doug Hodges. It was his first play. It was the first show we workshopped through our New Play Workshop. It was the first original play I have directed. I was pretty convinced the audience would consist of the playwright and the parents of the actors. Lots of people living in Fredericksburg don't know there is an FTE. And even fewer knew Doug Hodges. And still fewer knew he wrote a play called Daughter of Job. I'm usually ok with small audiences because I am intimately familiar with how hard it is to promote a one-weekend show with little to no advertising budget in a community full of fabulous artsy things to do. This is a challenge even if the play is well-known and features 40+ children, let alone if its a play by an unknown playwright produced by a barely-known theatre group.
The idea of not very many people seeing Daughter of Job made me sad. I fell in love with this show.
Daughter of Job tells the story of Karen, a dancer diagnosed with ALS, and Jim, her husband and a pastor who finds himself tempted by another woman. My Karen (Elaine Previs) is an amazingly talented dancer, singer, and actor. She made Karen strong and defeated, funny and sad ... we just kept saying we had put onions under the seats. My Jim (Damian Leone) is also my husband so imagine how awkward it was that I believed he loved Karen.
And then there was Esther Servais, a local dancer, singer, and actor, who brought a heartbreaking, yet inspiring dance performance to the intermission of Daughter of Job. See Doug had built in lots of dancing for Karen in his original script, but in the interest of time and storytelling, I opted to cut much of the dancing for Karen. But I wanted to ensure the audience understood they were watching a dancer lose the ability to dance. I asked Esther if she could bring the weight and despair of that reality to a dance. Esther delivered in spades.
The final moment in the play Damian wrapped his arms around Elaine with Billy Joel's lullabye playing in the background ...
"Goodnight, my angel, Now it's time to sleep, And still so many things I want to say, Remember all the songs you sang for me, When we went sailing on an emerald bay, And like a boat out on the ocean I'm rocking you to sleep The water's dark And deep inside this ancient heart You'll always be a part of me ..."
Bringing this show to life was an amazing experience and I am in awe of the talented cast and crew members who took Doug's brand new untested characters and made